At approximately 1100 acres, Up On the Hill is the largest of the Conservation Areas owned by UVLT. It stretches from Morningside Lane in Charlestown, NH to Sawyers Brook in Unity, NH with a portion of the property located in southwest Claremont. The property is actively used for agriculture and forestry. It also includes wetlands, streams, several vernal pools, and boasts fine views of Mount Ascutney across the farmland.
There are more than 6 miles of trails at Up On the Hill! Options include an easy ½ mile walk on a farm road leading to a beautiful view of Mount Ascutney from above a lovely pond. More rigorous loops use forestry roads and trails.
Visitors please remember that this is a working landscape – do not block roads or gates! Leave all gates and fences as you found them, and do not use flagging on this property under any circumstances. Please do not disturb items you find on the property. They may be associated with a research project, forest or farm operations.
Dogs are permitted but must be kept on leashes 6 feet or less.
Parking and access to Up On the Hill is located at Richardson Road in Charlestown, NH. Turn east onto Morningside Lane from Route 12/Charlestown Road. After approximately 2 miles, bear left on Richardson Road to the parking area. (On Morningside Lane, you will see signs alerting you to a closed bridge, however the closure is just past the turn to Richardson Road.)
(From points north or south, take I-91 exit 8 (Windsor/Ascutney) and cross the Connecticut River on VT 12 to enter New Hampshire. After the bridge, turn right on Jarvis Hill Road, which becomes River Road after 2.6 miles. Continue 1.5 miles to a left onto Grissom Lane, then 1.3 miles to a right on Route 12/Charlestown Road. Morningside Lane is on the left after about a mile.)
The Richardson Road site is the only parking area at this time. Parking is not available at Bible Hill or Judkins Road.
The Story of
Up On the Hill
Years ago, Harvey Hill’s family was living in a farmhouse on Route 12-A in Charlestown following a fire that destroyed their home and barn several miles away. The land they had left remained dear to the family, and Harvey’s father returned often to work the farm fields and manage the forest. Explaining his destination, he would say: “I’m going up on the hill.”
Eventually, Harvey came to own the land on the hill and he married Christina, who had grown up on the farm next door. They acquired adjacent land until their property encompassed over 1200 acres. In 2016, they, and Harvey’s son Scott, donated 1100 acres of their land to UVLT.
The Hill family gave UVLT a forest that is healthy and well-managed, land where we can engage and educate the public about forest stewardship. Proceeds from future timber harvests will create a management fund for the property for long-term stewardship of the land.
Food Pantry Garden
UVLT’s food pantry garden at Up on the Hill Conservation Area grows vegetables for the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry. In 2021, our garden at Up On the Hill produced hundreds of servings of healthy, fresh vegetables! This summer our garden is supported by a gift from Ledyard Bank. By growing food at Up On the Hill, UVLT uses its land to help those who need it most, making our communities more resilient and sustainable for all.
UVLT partners with the Sullivan County Conservation District annually at Up on the Hill to survey the fields for monarch butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs. Mission Monarch is part of a week-long, North America-wide monarch monitoring blitz engaging volunteers in community science during prime monarch breeding time. In the fall, the partners host volunteers again to catch and tag adult monarch butterflies before they migrate to Mexico for the winter. These tags help scientists track the migration patterns and mortality rates of the adult butterflies as they complete their winter migration. The program is part of an international research and education effort aimed at saving this endangered species.
The Hill Family intended that the land they gave UVLT would continue to be a “working forest,” where the good practices of active forestry would be demonstrated. This spring, UVLT harvested timber on the “Smith” and “Ruggiero” lots (Smith first, then Ruggiero). The harvest is intended to shift the balance of Unacceptable Growing Stock (UGS) to more Acceptable Growing Stock (AGS). We’re working with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service on this project and using a practice called “degraded stand”. We will also be treating invasive species in both lots.